Understand your Audience

by Santosh

This weekend, the Pune OpenCoffee Club meets to discuss Marketing for Web Startups. We are incredibly lucky to have Alok Kejriwal, Games2Win and Anuj Khurana, PurpleTrail talk to the community.

If you look at how India-centric Social Networks are shaping up, the importance of today’s talk is amplified. In fact, traffic & engagement is every thing to the Social Networking arena.

Back in 7/2007, BigAdda launched with a multi-crore marketing campaign. They blanketed billboards, television and FM. The ferocity of their campaigns threw the Industry in to confusion. Could an explosive mix of Money and mass-market advertising replace patient and painstaking build up of word-of-mouth? The heads of Chakpak and IndyaRocks kept their sanity and did not follow suit.

Two years down, the short-term advantage gained through marketing spend has been nullified. At the time this was written, Alexa shows the three social networks to be neck and neck in reach.

Alexa BigAdda, IndyaRocks, Chakpak

Alexa - IndyaRocks (blue), BigAdda (red), Chakpak (green)

Marketing on the Web on a zero-budget is all about long-term strategy over short-term tactical advantage. Even if it does seem frivolous to talk about social networks from an individual’s perspective, engaging an audience of over 5 Million UU’s every month is something else.

~ Santosh

Vibhushan comments: Reliance (ADAG) tried to use their standard strategy for launching any new product/service. As we have seen with their telecom and DTH launch, they love storming market with a big bang, capture market share initially by bleeding heavily and milk the acquired customers later on. However the point they missed was that as against CDMA handset and DTH setup, internet portal has very less or zero switching cost, and hence unless you dont have a very good product, you would lose customers.

Anyways, one good thing that happened out of this in 2007-2008 was that it increased the money spent on internet advertising in India. I am sure many websites surviving on advertisements must have seen their revenues going up and would be praying for more such launches from ADAG.